By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 5.5
The 2013 Dodge Avenger is an adequate car competing in the tough mid-size sedan segment. In this class, the Avenger aims to win over buyers who might otherwise consider the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Nissan Altima, Ford Fusion, Chevy Malibu, Kia Optima, and Hyundai Sonata. A recent redesign gave the Avenger an improved suspension, drivetrain and interior, as well as more aggressive looks. Lower-end models have enticing prices, but that value against rivals wanes as trim levels climb. Among the Avenger's redeeming qualities is the optional Pentastar V6 engine that works exceptionally well and gives the car newfound performance. For those drawn to the Avenger over its worthy competitors, the biggest motivating factors may come down to price and personal taste.
If you want a car whose looks portray swagger but you can't pony up to a Dodge Charger, the 2013 Dodge Avenger just might be your style.
If you want looks that are more modern than muscle, snazzier standard equipment or stellar fuel economy, there are newer and more feature-rich sedans from which to choose. Poor resale values further dampen the Avenger's appeal.
After gaining the performance-oriented R/T version and new trim names last year, the Avenger has just minor changes for 2013. Among them are automatic headlights and the availability of premium leather in SXT models, new exterior colors and a lower starting price on the R/T model.
Driving Impressions The 2013 Dodge Avenger can be a surprisingly fun car to drive. The reworking it received in 2011 to the suspension, brakes and steering gear help make this 5-passenger sedan...feel more like a nimble European car than any mid-size Dodge from the past decade. Thankfully, the Avenger's good handling doesn't come at the expense of comfort. The Dodge does a commendable job of offering a soft and composed ride quality, yet still boasts a responsive chassis that doesn't mind carving a mountain road. The 2013 Avenger's optional V6 engine is the most powerful of its kind among mid-size sedans, and delivers that power with smooth response. Base versions of the car come with a 4-cylinder engine mated to an older-style 4-speed transmission, with a 6-speed automatic with manual-shift mode standard on higher trims and optional on the base model. All trims are front-wheel-drive, which won't excite enthusiasts but makes it easier for those who drive in slippery conditions.
This optional system features a large color touch-screen that acts as the command center for audio, navigation and for retrieval of real-time info such as weather forecasts and movie times. We appreciate the system's prompt response to touch.
Dodge's V6 is among the best out there. This engine feels as powerful as a V8, purrs like a Lexus and also offers impressive fuel economy.
If the 2013 Dodge Avenger has an edge over competitors, it's in the design of cabin materials. The Avenger has soft-touch panels, visually appealing color and fabric patterns and well-bolstered front seats. R/T trim models are especially nice, featuring striped seats with leather bolsters, a unique gauge cluster and SRT-inspired pedal pads. Plenty of insulation material gives the Avenger a quiet cabin, which in turn helps the optional Boston premium speakers sound even sweeter. Rear-seat room is OK for two adults, and the rear seats fold in a 60/40-split for increased storage capacity. The front passenger seat folds flat for further cargo flexibility.Exterior
The 2013 Avenger has tough-guy looks to go with its name. Up front is Dodge's familiar crosshair grille and aggressive twin headlights that take the shape of menacing eyes. A high beltline and higher rear fenders further embolden the Avenger, and a rear spoiler is optionally available. Models equipped with the V6 engine have twin exhaust tips as standard; that feature is optional on 4-cylinder versions. R/T models have a body-color grille, black-bezel headlights and, for better or worse, fender stripes. SE and SXT models ride on 17-inch wheels, while 18-inch wheels are standard for the R/T and optional on the other two trims.
A base 2013 Dodge Avenger SE comes with a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, 4-speed automatic transmission, air conditioning with filtration system, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, manual-adjust driver's seat and 60/40 split-folding rear seats. The base audio system is an AM/FM/CD/satellite radio with auxiliary jack and four speakers. SXT models add a 6-speed automatic transmission, 8-way power driver's seat, automatic climate control and six speakers. Top-line R/T models come with the V6 engine, leather seats, 18-inch aluminum wheels, Uconnect hands-free phone system and media center with 6.5-inch display screen, 40-gig hard drive and six Boston speakers.
The 2013 Avenger can be fitted with the Uconnect infotainment system, which adds a color touch-screen and a hard drive for storing music and can be upgraded with a navigation system and real-time traffic information. Other major add-ons include a power sunroof, V6 engine in SE and SXT models, engine block heater for cold-weather environments, heated front seats and the Rallye Appearance Group for SXT models that includes 18-inch wheels, trunk-mounted spoiler and two-tone black and red cloth interior.
The base engine in a 2013 Dodge Avenger is a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder that makes 173 horsepower. That's not necessarily a lot of power for this class, but it's enough to allow the Avenger keep up with traffic. The more powerful V6 engine - certainly our choice - is optional in SE and SXT models and standard in the R/T trim. It makes 283 horsepower and is EPA-rated at up to up to 29 mpg on the highway. Both engines operate on regular 87-octane gasoline, and the V6 is E85-compatible.
173 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
166 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 mpg (4-speed automatic), 20/31 mpg (6-speed automatic)
283 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
260 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/29 mpg (gasoline), 14/21 mpg (E85)
With a base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) just under $20,000, the 2013 Dodge Avenger is billed as the most affordable mid-size sedan. At that price, the 2013 Avenger undercuts the Hyundai Sonata, Kia Optima, Subaru Legacy and VW Passat by about $1,000, and the Toyota Camry, Honda Accord, Chevy Malibu, Ford Fusion and Nissan Altima by even more. Keep in mind these are not necessarily direct comparisons, though, as the Avenger has less power, lower fuel economy and fewer gears than some rivals. On the other end of the spectrum, a loaded R/T model can reach $28,000, still a solid value. Be sure to check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to find what others in your area are paying for the Avenger. In terms of resale value, the 2013 Avenger is predicted to fall short, registering among the lowest in this class.
By Avenger nut on Thursday, March 27, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,152overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Gas mileage, good handling, value, ride"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"love the handling of car. Its a great vehicle being more sporty and reasonably best in performance with having a V6 engine. Features are outstanding the resale value is excellent on car gives me good gas mileage plenty of room rides smooth. Looks more of a top of the line coupe with taillights and factory R/T wheels. The Avenger is comfortable available with heated seats, UCONNECT navigation, blue tooth and USB/iPod interface include a great sound system. It drives absolutely best more quiet great smooth ride and gas mileage is overall excellent on Avenger. I love this car on lots of good features in its class from more sporty looks and steering controls are outstanding."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful
By Pandora on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: cheap quality
Pros: "Attractive body style, good mileage"
Cons: "cheap workmanship, poor quality interior."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought a 2008 Avenger with only about 100 miles on it. I loved the look of the car and the ride was very comfortable on the test drive. The dealer gave me a really great deal (too good to turn down... should have been my first clue). The first few weeks it was a really sweet ride, so we went back and got a matching one for my husband. I noticed his car drove a lot more 'tight'. Didn't sway as much as mine did. Mine felt like it was always windy out and was a little more 'loose' than his in the steering. His was the top of the line, all the bells and whistles, whereas mine was the plain jane, low end model. So I chalked it up to that. One thing we both had in common though, was the very first week of ownership, our air vents broke when we tried to flip them up to redirect the air flow. About a month after getting it, we took mine out on the interstate on our first long distance trip, I noticed it had a lot of road noise. Almost sounded like a plane was overhead at times. The feeling of being windy out was again very noticeable. We took mine in several times to the dealer for 'small things' like the interior door trim falling off, door not fitting right, etc. My husband's had leather seats which cracked and looked worn before the first year was up. We both had several recalls on our cars in the first 2-3 years (at least 4 apiece). Both cars had the shifter break, leaving us having to take apart the shifter area in order to get the car into gear. It was one of the recalls. After the 2nd year, his car started using oil. Around year 3 for his and year 4 for mine (but the same amount of miles), they both developed transmission problems and started slipping between first and second gears. Mine developed some type of 'air lock' in the 4th year. When I'd drive down the interstate, it'd act like it had air bubbles in the gas. It'd spit and sputter when you'd step on the gas. The mechanic could never find anything wrong. The cars both had very cheap interiors that fell apart, fairly quickly. The molding strips on the bottom of mine fell off when I drove through heavy snow one winter. All of a sudden they were gone and thats the only thing we remember doing. Mine developed 'bubbling' of the paint on the nose of the hood. When a battery needed changed, we found out you have to remove the driver's side wheel and take apart the wheel well to get the battery out. Based on our experience with the two 2008's that we purchased, I will NEVER purchase another Dodge car."
1 person out of 4 found this review helpful
By Boomer on Tuesday, March 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great performance and yet good economy"
Cons: "Traction control is a nuisance."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I'm early 60s and have owned a lot of cars. When looking for a new one, I wanted: performance, style ( this car has a great muscle car style ) all the latest do- dads, and economy. I've owned it now for a couple years and still look forward to getting behind the wheel, especially at stop lights. I am sorry to see it go away. Goodbye to a great American car."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By Chameelia on Monday, March 10, 2014
I don't own this caroverall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"So my vehicle was stolen and I got this rental from my insurance company. Being used to an old 99 with poor HP, I spit rocks as I pulled out of the driveway!! I felt like a millionaire, until I checked my blind spots... to look over your shoulder, it is really hard to see out the back window (Im a short 5'2" woman) and the small side windows in the back might as well not even have been there!! The body was also really wide between the back door and the rear windshield, making for a huge blind spot which nearly costed me several accidents. Its not a big deal in rural areas, but I live in a metro, so I need to be able to navigate in a split second, something that is hard to do when you need to look at 2 mirriors and look back, and then check your mirriors again. Now granted, I know that is how you are supposed to drive anyway, but anyone who drives in heavy traffic full of people texting and driving, putting on make up while they speed to work, etc knows that often times will CAUSE you an accident. The car was fairly comfy, but my rump was a bit sore after taking it for an hour and half ride, something I didnt have an issue with in my 99 Malibu. The body style is pretty sleek, a nice look that both the man and woman will love. The interior is pretty spacious, not overly, but 5 adults can ride in it so it could be alot worse, and though it doesnt look it, the trunk is HUGE. IDK about service, it never had issues in teh month I had it, the gas mileage was actually not that bad at all for such a powerful engine (comparable to my smaller 99 Malibu), but it was pretty good highway miles. And I did kinda romp on it a little, its an awesome car, and a loaner so I wasnt babying it thats for sure!! Only think i didnt like about it was that blind spot."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By BJ on Sunday, February 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 88,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"I really enjoyed my avenger when I had it. It was reliable, great gas mileage and good looking. The down side to these cars are that they just don't retain any kind of value. There is no trade in value at all with these vehicles. I paid almost $20,000 for the car 6 years ago and now it is worth 5000.00. You do the math."
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By BO on Tuesday, February 18, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"Bought mine brand new a year and half a go and have 45,000 miles on it. All I've had to do so far is change the oil and put gas in it. 4 cylinder engine performs well and still gets very good gas mileage. Interior is comfortable and the Uconnect system is very easy to use. The only drawbacks I've found are that it has a horrible blind spot and the steering wheel is uncomfortable on really long trips and has a fair amount of road noise on the highway. I've been very happy with mine over all."
2 people out of 3 found this review helpful